Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Learners

Author:Chip Kidd
Genre: Fiction/Tiny Tid-Bits of Design Theory

I reviewed Chip Kidd’s The Cheese Monkeys last Spring, and once again, Kidd masters the importance of design literally from cover to cover. Although I am always hesitant to read sequels this one is distant enough that it is not like you should have hopped off the book three chapters ago. I would call this sequel more of a companion—they are in the same species, but genetically engineered a little differently. Where The Cheese Monkeys has a strong narrative The Learners functions as a subtle dissection of design and its impact on the human condition.

S. Clark

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The History of the Snowman

The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein probably won't make it on the popular reading shelves, but I think it should. It is a light-hearted yet well-researched book on, what else, the history of the snowman.

From an illuminated manuscript dating around 1380 to the popular Frosty we see on television every year, the history of the snowman is traced, showing not only the happy well-rounded character that Burl Ives made famous, but also the darker side where he chases little kids and sells and drinks alcoholic beverages

Chapter titles include Snowman Deconstructionism and Italian Snowballs from the Fifteenth Century, as well as side bars on the Abominable Snowman entitled Yeti Nother Sidebar. Along with several pages of color illustrations this book is packed with illustrations. I would give it a 4 out of 5 rating, but only because it did not include a Calvin 'n' Hobbes strip in the chapter featuring snowman cartoons.

Beth, CFL staff

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Nimrod Flipout/The Girl on the Fridge

Fiction/Short Story Collections by Etgar Keret

I have grouped these two collections together because I devoured both of these and think that they work well as a pairing. Keret is a master of the short story. In addition, as I tend to judge books by their cover (Okay, so, aesthetics differ between humans and books, and my judgements are never intended toward the book’s character, so don’t make me feel bad to judge a book by its cover.) Keret’s design choices are spot on. The Girl on the Fridge is definitely most memorable for me and the short stories Girl on the Fridge and Nothing are the most precise and calculated bits of short fiction that I have read in some time. They are refreshing and crisp. I have been meaning to see the feature film he directed called Jellyfish, but need to find out how to obtain it…

S. Clark

Kristen's note: The Popular Reading Collection has The Nimrod Flipout and we can purchase The Girl of the Fridge. Steph, submit an Interlibrary Loan request for the Jellyfish--it's worth a shot.